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Services we offer

World-class instrument set-up

Every set-up includes:

  • Polish frets
  • Buff fingerboard
  • Oil fingerboard (rosewood, ebony)
  • Oil and torque tuning machines
  • Remove/clean component panel
  • Clean controls/repair or replace, as needed*
  • Repair cold solder joints, if needed
  • Clean and polish instrument
  • Install new strings per client’s preference*
  • File nut slots for optimum playability
  • Set intonation, using the K.I.A. Proprietary Intonation Method
  • Tune instrument to client’s preference

Regular Price: $35

* indicates additional fee

Bone nut or saddle upgrade

Drastically improve the tone, value, and appearance of your acoustic or electric instrument. Remember: “Bone Is Toneā„¢.”

  • Shaped by hand and tools from the highest quality ox bone
  • Choose from bleached white or vintage tint
  • Hand-polished to a mirror shine via K.I.A. Proprietary Polishing Method
  • Nut slots are precisely milled to your instrument’s specs
  • Saddles can be compensated for improved intonation (acoustic guitars)

Regular Price: $50 per piece

Fret dressing

All fretted instruments are subject to fret wear, eventually requiring fret replacement or a "re-fret." Fret dressing is an interim option for an instrument that has worn frets but still possess substantial fret height. Fret dressing is the process of leveling, crowning, shaping, and buffing the frets. K.I.A. has proprietary dressing processes that yield superior results. Instruments with divots in the frets, excessive buzzing, or intonation problems are all good candidates for a fret dressing. A setup is included in the price.

Regular Price: $120

Fret replacement

When an instrument has fret wear that cannot be corrected by a dressing, a re-fret is the solution. This is the process of removing the old frets, resurfacing the fingerboard, installing new frets, and dressing the new frets using the K.I.A. Proprietary Dressing Process. Typically, the nut will need to be replaced due to the increased height of the new frets.

Regular Price: $250 (includes materials and tax)

Stainless steel re-fret

Factory frets are made of a nickel-copper alloy that is soft and prone to corrosion. The tonal characteristics are average, and the resistance to wear is minimal. Major manufacturers use this inferior material because it is inexpensive and easy to work with. Stainless steel is vastly superior for tone, playability, longevity, appearance, and value.

Regular Price: $350 (includes materials and tax)

Fears about refretting

Many players come to me with fears about replacing the frets on their beloved instrument. We’ve all heard horror stories about hack fret jobs that have destroyed instruments. Years of experience have allowed me to master the craft of fretwork. Through fretting and re-fretting hundreds of guitars, I have developed innovative processes that produce some of the finest fretwork in the industry.

Wiring and electronics upgrades and modifications for electric instruments

Upgrading a guitar’s original equipment with high-quality replacement parts is a great way to improve the tone and dependability of your instrument. K.I.A. uses the highest quality replacement parts available from these famous manufacturers:

  • Fender Custom Shop
  • Gibson USA
  • Kinman Pickups
  • Callaham Guitar Parts
  • Precision Electronics Potentiometers
  • CTS Potentiometers
  • CRL Switches
  • Switchcraft Jacks and Switches
  • Mil-spec Teflon Wire

While upgrading your instrument’s electronics, you may wish to have modifications done, which will expand the versatility of your instrument. When it comes to mods, the sky’s the limit.

Amplifier maintenance, repair, and modifications

My experience in repair began with vintage tube amplifiers and has since expanded into virtually all areas of amplification. It continues to this day to be the busiest department of the shop. K.I.A. services all amplifiers from vintage and modern tube amps to pro audio and hi-fi equipment.

As well as repairing, Joel Amsden manufactures totally Maine-made, military spec, hand-wired tube guitar amplifiers under his brand, SOMA Amplification.

Structural damage repair

Here are some common examples of routine repairs:

  • Broken headstocks
  • Cracked tops
  • Loose braces
  • Bridge removal and replacement
  • Neck reset
  • Finish touch-ups
  • Complete nitrocellulose refinish